Benelli Leoncino 500, Imperiale 400 – India launch confirmed for 2019
Benelli plans launch of 7 new bikes in India in 2019.
Following launch of the TRK502 and TRK 502X in India with a price tag of Rs.5 lakhs and Rs.5.4 lakhs respectively, the Italian bike maker Benelli is now planning launch of 5 more motorcycles this year. The launch will include the Leoncino Trail, Imperiale 400 and 502C.
Owned by China’s Qjian Jiang Group, the Italian brand Benelli is being taken care by Hyderabad based Mahavir Group in India. They took over India operations from Pune based DSK Group last year. Benelli India has promised to invest Rs 200 crore over the next two years
Benelli motorcycles are currently being manufactured at the company plant in China. It is from here that about 12 lakh Benelli motorcycles are produced annually. Benelli now plans to make India a manufacturing and export hub. Though plans are not finalized, but there are serious talks among top management to make India a major manufacturing hub of Benelli motorcycles. If it goes through, India will only be the second country to manufacture Benelli motorcycles, after China.
Speaking about Benelli India’s next three launches – The retro styled Leoncino and Leoncino Trail will both be powered by the same 500cc, parallel twin engine, which also powers the TRK 502. This engine offers 47.5 PS power and 46 Nm torque. As compared to the Leoncino, the Trail variant gets more off road centric features among which are 19” front wheels fitted with dual purpose tyres. These wire spoke aluminum wheels replace the 12 spoke alloy wheels seen on the standard Leoncino. The Benelli Leoncino Train also commands higher ground clearance at 185 mm along with 135mm front and 138mm rear suspension travel.
Next up is the Benelli Imperiale 400 cruiser which made its debut at the 2017 EICMA show. It will launch in India with split seating, chrome accents, a tear drop shaped fuel tank and a twin pod instrument cluster and a digital screen. It will get its power via a 373cc air cooled, single cylinder, fuel injected engine offering 20 PS power at 5,500 rpm and 28 Nm torque at 3,500 rpm mated to a 5 speed gearbox. Braking is via disc brakes at the front and rear measuring 300mm and 240mm respectively while ABS will be offered as standard.
The Benelli 502C naked bike will be based on the Leoncino. It will be positioned on a trellis framework and get 41mm upside down fork with 125mm travel and monoshock with pre load adjustment. Braking will be via 260mm front and 240mm rear disc brakes. Engine specifications will include a 500cc inline, four stroke, twin cylinder, liquid cooled engine offering 47.6 PS power at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm torque at 5,000 rpm mated to a 6 speed gearbox.
There is also a TNT1200 that is currently under development at Benelli. The model was showcased at the 2018 EICMA show with launch pegged for sometime in 2020.